Getting your tubes tied...

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012 ( 6 moms have responded )

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In March I gave birth to my fourth child, and know that I don't want any more children. Not only for mine and my husband's sake, but because I am tired of being criticized after each child. I know that decision to have another child is no one else's business but mine and my husbands, but it still bothers me.

Anyway, I went to the doctor today for my post-partum check up, and talked about permenant forms of birth control. I decided the best thing was to get my tubes tied so its just one step, and its done and over with. No worries about a 5 year insert that I have to constantly make sure is still in place, etc. I am not scared of the surgery itself, as far as being cut open and everything, it's the going under part that I am terrified about.

How do I get over that? Do they just put a mask over your face like on television when you're in a totally conscious state or do they try and sedate you a little bit through an IV first? I tried to convince my doctor to just give me an epidural or something similar so I was still conscious, but he said he couldnt. The surgery is next Friday and I am terrified.

Any advice? Thanks!!!

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Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012

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No, it's fine. During the surgery, the anesthetist will be right at your head monitoring you constantly. He will administer medications based on your vital signs to keep you under and not in pain. After the surgery once you are in recovery, your care will be transferred to the care of a post anesthesia recovery room nurse (PARR). She will be with you monitoring your vital signs until you start to show signs of waking up. After that you will remain on a monitor (your IV will also still be in for fluids and medications) until you are more conscious. After that they will likely step back a bit to allow you more time to recover and wake up more, but you will still be monitored. You may have an oxygen mask or prongs on in your nose for oxygen if your levels are low. Usually they take these off once you come to though. When you're awake enough, they'll likely move you to another ward to finish your recovery before you are discharged. I'm really not sure on whether they are doing this as a day procedure or if you will be in overnight, so this would depend on the nature of your stay. Once you start to drink, they'll turn your IV down, then off. The nurses will continue to monitor you carefully even after being returned to the ward or day surgery area. There may be a slight variation based on where you are, but in the 3 hospitals I have worked in, this is basically the standard procedure.

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012

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Its totally normal to have nerves pre op for anything. It would be unusual if you didnt. Personally I do think your husband is being insensitive. They dont "cut his nuts off." Its a minor day procedure, not major abdominal surgery as a ligation is. Who really is being the baby there? YOURE the one "man"ning up and taking one for the team. He needs to be more sensitive and supportive. As far as the waking up part, its not that bad, as long as youre aware of it. First to return will be your hearing, you may hear voices, blips from monitors, etc. Then youll start to feel the urge to move. Basically waking up is sorta like it is when you have a really good sleep, just kinda dreamy, your eyes closed, aware of whats going on, but not quite ready to open them yet. Youll have a nurse with you until you start to come through. They will often stimulate when they notice signs of alertness (flyttering of eyes, twitching of fingers, etc.). They might call your name or rub your arm. Its actually kind of comforting in a way to know you arent alone.

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012

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Usually what would happen is you would walk in and lay on the operating table. They would start an IV in your arm. The anesthetist will be up by your head the whole time. His sole responsibility is keeping you alive. He will inject a medication into your IV and you will feel yourself drift off. Once you are out, the anesthetist will intubate you. This means he will put a tube down your throat and put you onto a breathing machine. They do this so that you can continue to breathe. Then they will prepare you for surgery, drape you and clean you, then do the surgery. There is a combination of 3 different kinds of medications they use during the surgery. #1 - Medication to put you out, and keep you out. #2 - Medication to paralyze you so that you don't have muscle spasms during the surgery. #3 - Pain medication, because even asleep you can feel pain, and it will help with pain control once you wake up.

For you, you will basically remember being in the room, then next moment (as if no time has passed) you will wake up, aware of sounds around you. You may be unable to move or open your eyes. This is because medications used for purpose #1 wear off faster than the medications for purpose #2. Just stay calm, know that you will be very closely monitored throughout your surgery and afterwards. You sensations will all return, and although many people notice their throat is sore (from the breathing tube) afterwards, it usually only lasts a few days.

You may also notice little discomfort because of the medications given for purpose #3. This doesn't mean you shouldn't take pain medications or wait until you feel pain because once you do, you have a long wait until oral meds will take effect (20-30 minutes). Take them regularly to keep comfortable. Also try to walk as soon as possible. All the medications can slow down your bowels and the walking will help them to get moving again. They can also cause constipation (especially the pain meds afterwards) so you may consider taking a stool softener.

Good luck with your surgery.

Dana - posted on 05/16/2012

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Don't worry! I know that's easy to say, but it's really going to do you no good to worry. I have had my tubes tied, but it was after my C-section. However, I did have surgery on my uterus before that and I went under for that. They do give you something in your IV and you feel gooooood. I barely remember going into the room, I had enough wits about me to be able to slide from the bed over to the OR table and that was about it, after that I was out. You are never awake for any of the mask or intubation (which I did have).

I totally know how you're feeling though. I was TERRIFIED. And right up until I went in I was terrified as well. Looking back though, I did myself no good by being so worried.
Good luck. Having your tubes tied is such a relief! :D

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Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012

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Well thanks! So basically someone will be with me the whole time? Even after in recovery? I imagine until I totally come back to a normal state , all the IV's and what not will be hooked up for procautionary purposes, I guess this will help doctors to monitor as well with how I'm doing. I'm sorry to sound so questionable, it's just new to me and I knew other moms would be able to help calm me down a bit more :)

Sarah - posted on 05/16/2012

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Thank you both. I know it's just my initial nerves that are freaking me out, it is just hard to comprehend what is going to happen. To be quite honest, I think it would scare me more to come back to the conscious state and not be able to open my eyelids... and staying calm for that matter. My doctor is very nice and informative, and said that nurses would be contacting me from the hospital to go over what's going to happen I guess. I know this procedure is more common than I give it credit for, but I still have my fear of the whole thing.

I told my husband about my fear and he got mad that I was scared and said, "Fine, I"ll just go to the VA and go get my n*ts chopped off." Real heartfelt. :/ Like I said, it's not the surgery I'm scared of, its the whole getting myself to the unconscious state.

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